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Charitable Remainder Trusts Help You During and After Your Lifetime

A charitable remainder accept as true with is a tax-unfastened, unalterable car for you to ensure that the beneficiary has to pay not anything for their income. This is a surefire manner to present you and your considerable different a consistent profits for the rest of your lives, and an terrific economic tool if you’re seeking out better estate planning so that you can assist those in want.

The concept in the back of charitable remainder trusts is to lessen the taxable profits for which individuals should pay taxes. This is done by means of pledging a set amount of cash to a charity, and then having it pay the beneficiary a stipend over a hard and fast time period. After this set period expires, the remainder of the estate is given to the charities named because the beneficiaries.

Benefits of Charitable Remainder Trusts

There are many benefits to creating a charitable remainder believe as a part of your property plan. Not best are you able to get hold of a percent of the sum out of your consider, you will also revel in additional benefits like:

When you create the accept as true with, you may get a right away earnings tax deduction for giving finances to charity.
Any income which you make within the believe could be free of capital tax profits, and this means that you’ll have greater freedom in terms of handling your property.
There is the ability of increase to your income, as time passes.
You have extra various alternatives in relation to investments.
After dying, the belongings within the consider turns into eligible for tax deduction, because it became given to charity.

Cons of Charitable Remainder Trusts

There are important downsides of a charitable the rest accept as true with, one of that’s the fact that it’s far irrevocable. Once you’ve got created it, you can’t cancel it. You would possibly have the capability to trade it, which means you can alternate the beneficiary to every other charity if you want, but you can not take it returned.

The 2d disadvantage of a charitable the rest agree with is that the charity will expect ownership, no matter the reality that it may not obtain any gain for years or maybe decades. Till the charity has taken ownership, the trustee you have got assigned may be in charge of the control of all your property.

There is likewise the fact that you can have to deal with complex problems concerning taxes and their rules. It would be a hassle to try and recognize those yourself, which is why you should consult a person with enjoy on this property planning approach.

The Bottom Line

All in all, but, the professionals outweigh the cons for estate holders who need their favored charities to generate greater sales for his or her institutions.

A charitable the rest agree with is a extremely good financial tool, giving you the danger to make a contribution a whole lot-needed assist to charitable causes of your desire. At the equal time, those trusts additionally allow you to reduce estate taxes, cast off capital gains, and be possible to get earnings tax reductions at some point of your lifetime, so it is a win-win!

Beneficiary and Fiduciary Liability for Income, Gift and Estate Taxes

It can be both a blessing or a curse to be appointed as the Personal Representative of an property or Trustee of a consider (collectively a “Fiduciary”). One of the maximum over regarded factors of the task is the fact that the U.S. Government has a “fashionable tax lien” on all property and agree with assets when a decedent leaves assessed and unpaid taxes and a “unique tax lien” for property taxes on a decedent’s dying. As a result, whilst advising a Fiduciary on the estate and accept as true with management technique it is vital to inform them that with the responsibility also comes the potential for private legal responsibility.

On many occasions a Fiduciary may be placed right into a position wherein assets passing outdoor the probate property (life coverage, together held property, retirement accounts, and pension plans) or agree with, over which they haven’t any manipulate, represent a sizable portion of the property (real belongings, stocks, cash, and many others.) challenge to property taxation. Without the ability to direct or anticipate control of the property the Fiduciary may also have both a liquidity trouble and absence of means to meet the estates tax (earnings or property) obligation. For this purpose alone, a Fiduciary should be very reluctant to distribute any budget to a beneficiary before all statute of hindrance intervals expire for the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to assess a tax deficiency.

Liability for Income and Estate Taxes:

Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) §6012(b) holds a Fiduciary liable for submitting the decedent’s final profits and property tax returns. IRC §6903(a) further establishes a Fiduciary’s duty for representing the estate in all tax topics upon submitting the desired Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship (IRS Form 56). Under IRC §6321, when the tax isn’t always paid an IRS lien will spring into being. When an estate or accept as true with possesses insufficient property to pay all its debts, federal regulation requires the Fiduciary to first satisfy any federal tax deficiencies earlier than another debt (31 U.S.C. §3713 and IRC §2002).

A Fiduciary who fails to abide by this requirement will concern themselves to individually liability for the amount of the unpaid tax deficiency (31 U.S.C. §3713(b)). An exception arises while an person has received an hobby inside the belongings that could succeed over the federal tax lien beneath IRC §6323 (United States v. Estate of Romani, 523 U.S. 517 (1998)). When there are insufficient estate or consider assets to pay a federal tax duty, as a result of the Fiduciary’s movements, the IRS may accumulate the tax obligation at once from the Fiduciary without regard to transferee legal responsibility (United States v. Whitney, 654 F.2d 607 (9th Cir. 1981)). If the IRS determines a Fiduciary to be in my opinion liable for the tax deficiency it will likely be required to follow regular deficiency approaches in assessing and accumulating the tax (IRC §6212).

Prerequisites for Fiduciary Liability:

Under IRC §3713, a Fiduciary could be held personally responsible for a federal tax legal responsibility if the subsequent conditions precedent are glad: (I) the U.S. Government have to have a declare for taxes; (ii) the Fiduciary need to have: (a) expertise of the government’s declare or be located on inquiry note of the declare, and (b) paid a “debt” of the decedent or disbursed belongings to a beneficiary; (iii) the “debt” or distribution have to had been paid at a time while the property or trust become insolvent or the distribution created the insolvency; and (iv) the IRS should have filed a well timed assessment against the fiduciary in my opinion (United States v. Coppola, 85 F.3d 1015 (second Cir. 1996)). For functions of IRC §3713, the time period “debt” includes the fee of: (I) hospital and clinical bills; (ii) unsecured lenders; (iii) nation income and inheritance taxes (warfare among U.S. Blakeman, 750 F. Supp. 216, 224 (N.D. Tex. 1990) and In Re Schmuckler’s Estate, 296 N.Y. 2d 202, fifty eight Misc. 2nd 418 (1968)); (iv) a beneficiary’s distributive share of an estate or consider; and (v) the pleasure of an non-compulsory percentage. In assessment, the term “debt” especially excludes the payment of: (I) a creditor with a security hobby; (ii) funeral fees (Rev. Rul. 80-112, 1980-1 C.B. 306); (iii) administration expenses (courtroom prices and reasonable fiduciary and attorney compensation) (In Re Estate of Funk, 849 N.E.2d 366 (2006)); (iv) family allowance (Schwartz v. Commissioner, 560 F.2nd 311 (eighth Cir. 1977)); and (v) a “dwelling house” hobby (Estate of lgoe v. IRS, 717 S.W. 2d 524 (Mo. 1986)).

In order to accumulate the federal tax deficiency the IRS possesses the choice to either report a lawsuit in opposition to the Fiduciary in federal district court docket, pursuant to IRC. §7402(a), or trouble a notice of fiduciary legal responsibility beneath IRC § 6901(a)(1)(B and begin series efforts. The statute of boundaries for issuing a be aware of fiduciary legal responsibility is the later of one year after the fiduciary liability arises or the expiration of the statute of boundaries for amassing the underlying tax liability (IRC § 6901(c)(3)).

The Importance of Including a Charity in Your Estate Planning

WILLS & ESTATE PLANNING:

Estate planning is one of the wisest undertakings you could ever do with the belongings you own. Forbes cites real-life consequences to not having an property plan in vicinity. Planning for your property and placing all your needs in clean and organized order via the creation of a will is an issue pleasant achieved early in life. It is whilst your mental schools are in top condition. This guarantees that the time and efforts you have invested in growing and offering stability for you and your family continue to be intact and worthwhile lengthy once you’re long gone.

In creating a will, it’s miles important to consist of charity to your appointed bequests. Doing this puts you, your property, and your beneficiaries at a bonus.

Longer Life And Better Health

The Journal of Economic Psychology posted a 2015 research on charitable giving. It reviews that charitable giving improves the giver’s bodily and emotional health. When you encompass charity in your will, you in my opinion benefit. You live longer and you fare higher. You get pride from knowing that your efforts help improve the lives of no longer just your family and your self, but of so many other human beings as nicely. It validates all of the tough work you’ve got been putting in. With a greater advantageous outlook gained, it’s hard to assume what else can beat the instant profit of advanced fitness and existence expectancy.

Tax Credits

Tax credit for donations given to charities specific relying on where you stay. Donors robotically get tax breaks for charitable bequests extended to charities. For instance, bequests willed to registered Canadian charities can grant tax credits of up to 100% of the donor’s profits. The credit may also observe not handiest within the year of his loss of life however the preceding 12 months as well. CTF gives a posted report of Canada’s Standing Committee on Finance (and extra) for in addition insight.

A clever investor takes advantage of provisions like this. Investing part of your property into a charity can lessen inheritance taxes all the way down to a substantial fee. Taxable quantities on the property exclude any values set apart for charitable giving. That right now cuts down estate taxes due. Additionally, charitable giving entitles you to tax credit. This will further reduce the amount of tax payable at the property. With taxes reduced, you get to preserve extra of your property. Strategize so that you can attain the fine tax charge in line with quantity of donation. You may additionally nice achieve this by using consulting with an property planner.

The Need for Precision

Avoid criminal issues by using ensuring that your charitable bequests are exactly named. Identify using enterprise capabilities that continue to be the equal at some stage in their existence. You may also use business ID numbers and corporation ID numbers for higher identification. Let details stay present day. Updated name changes may invalidate your donation.

Resealing of Probates or Letters of Administration

Estate planning denotes the method of arranging the disposal of someone’s assets, along with immovable and movable belongings after his/her death. Obviously, property making plans may put off boundaries and doubts over the management of estates.

In the Republic of Cyprus, all matters related to property planning are regulated by the following legislations:

· Wills and Succession Law (Cap. 195).

· Administration of Estate Law (Cap.189).

· Probates (Re-Sealing) Law (Cap. 192). The sealing through Cyprus courts of probates or letters of management granted via courts of other jurisdictions out of doors the Republic of Cyprus is regulated through Cap.192.

The necessity to reseal a furnish of probate or letters of management emerges whilst the deceased man or woman become not a resident of the Republic of Cyprus, however he/she has assets in his/her name in Cyprus.

Procedure:

Section four of Cap. 192 provides that ‘The Court shall, earlier than sealing a probate or letters of administration beneath this Law, be happy’ that:

a) the probate obligation has been paid in recognize of so much, if any, of the estate as is liable to property obligation inside the Republic;

b) in the case of letters of administration, the security quantity is enough to cowl the belongings, if any, within the Republic to which the letters of administrations confer with;

Moreover, segment four provides that the Court may also require such proof, if any, because it thinks suit as to the domicile of the deceased character.

According to segment 5, the Court may additionally, if it judges necessary, at the software of any creditor, require, earlier than sealing, that ok protection be given for the charge of debts due from the property to creditors who live within the Republic.

Application to seal a supply of probate or letters of management may be made to the President or a District Judge of any District Court within the jurisdiction of which the deceased person had assets at the time of his/her death.

The software may be made via the executor or the administrator or their legal professional, duly accredited to re-seal the grant beneath the provisions of Cap. 192.

Furthermore, the software need to be by means of summons and need to be accompanied through:

· The probate or letters of administration, sealed with the seal of the court docket granting the same, or a copy thereof certified as accurate by means of or underneath the authority of the court docket granting the equal;

· An oath of the executor, the administrator or the legal professional within the prescribed form;

· The energy of lawyer, in case the software is made by using an attorney;

· A bond overlaying the property of the deceased individual within the Republic, furnished through the administrator or his/her attorney on utility to seal letters of administration.

Recommendations For Minimizing Inheritance Conflicts

You work for the duration of your existence, invest and keep accurately. You are enough cautious of risks that threaten your savings and you will truely want to bypass work on on your dear ones after making an investment a lot time, sacrifice and effort. However, you ought to be quite cautious about the least quantity of government interference and tax whilst passing on your work. There are some nicely-mounted approaches to make certain that the meant recipients get your monetary legacy properly. Family limited partnerships, non-public foundations, wills, irrevocable trusts, revocable trusts and an alphabet soup of strategies are a number of the crucial parts so one can comfy a monetary plan.

Here is a list of some suggestions to reduce inheritance conflicts.

Address personal belongings one after the other

Make a separate list of your non-public residences with proper commands that who must inherit what object. The family members often start warfare amongst themselves regarding the inheritance of belongings. You can put together a Personal Property Memorandum, i.E. A separate private property list as part of the desire. You need to placed the date and signature whilst making ready a handwritten or typed list.

Update property plan often

Make adjustments in property planning as in keeping with converting occasions, specifically after a divorce. Under matrimonial legal guidelines, most of the states favour former spouses. You should right now disinherit your former spouses, which will keep away from weird and unwanted consequences. Other adjustments in lifestyles like loss of life or divorce of a toddler or incapacitation, contamination or dependancy of any beneficiary need to also be considered at the same time as updating your estate plan.

Hold an open discussion on unique assets

Family enter is recommended in some conditions. Conditions like the succession of a own family business, take care of a handicapped infant, domestic require children and parents for endured amusement of a holiday have to be listed on the same web page.

Consider a prenuptial settlement

Inheritance war is ordinarily the cause for a 2nd marriage. Conflict can be minimized at demise with the assist of a put up-nuptial or prenuptial settlement. It without a doubt states the distribution of property a number of the spouses and other beneficiaries.

Clearly become aware of items and loans

Children with monetary lack of ability are often helped by way of their mother and father. Parents generally offer help both as items or loans. Conflict may be generated because of the difficulty of unpaid loans from parents. Parents should virtually state about everything in their estate plan.

Property Fund Trust

In order to keep away from battle, you ought to nicely retitle and fund all of your property. All the life insurance regulations will name the accept as true with as beneficiary if the desire shows identical distribution amongst testator’s youngsters.

Nine Things To Do When a Spouse or Parent Passes Away

S we age, we’re necessarily faced with the lack of a cherished one. Sometimes we’ve got time to prepare, other times it’s miles unexpected. If we’re fortunate sufficient to have a while to put together mentally and emotionally, the system of coordinating these objects can be an awful lot extra controlled and prepared.

If the demise is unexpected and we are dealing with it all at once, it is going to be more difficult because the disturbing and emotional results of our loved one’s passing are nevertheless clean and we need time to allow ourselves to grieve. Aside from the instantaneous wishes for the funeral arrangements, final scientific bills, and notification of family and buddies, the relaxation of those gadgets may be dealt with over the coming weeks or even months in case you are not prepared or inclined to cope with them straight away after your loss.

The following nine items should be addressed as soon as you’re capable of grieve and get cozy taking on the task.

Item 1 – Get five-10 greater copies of Certified Death Certificate.

For most survivors, you may want the ability to prove the death of your spouse or discern which will switch or alternate the possession on assets, close debts or adjust current benefit packages. Most of the agencies and groups that cope with those gadgets will require an authorized replica of the loss of life certificates as proof of dying. Some may be inclined to use a photocopy if you ask. They can be required to visually look into the certificate earlier than they accept a photo reproduction, just to ensure that it is an authentic and is licensed.

Unfortunately, there are people obtainable who try to acquire death benefits by the usage of falsified and unlawful death certificates. This has grow to be extra not unusual and many establishments will not receive copies because of this. But, especially in case you are meeting with the group in individual, deliver an authentic, licensed reproduction and ask if they are able to make and be given a photocopy.

Each of these authentic, licensed death certificate will price between $five and $25 in case you get them on the time of the funeral. If you wait till weeks, months or years later, they might fee $50 to $200 depending on in which you need to get them from.

Estimate your wishes for the financial institution, brokerage, IRA, 401k, lifestyles coverage, annuity and other bills which you have. Then upload about 5 more to that variety for diverse others that can require it. Plus always store at the least one original for your destiny records and your family in case they want it later.

Item 2 – Assemble Your Trust Team.

Your Trust Team. Who is in your Trust Team? For the majority, this need to begin with circle of relatives members. Parents, children or siblings must always be taken into consideration first. As you age, it may even encompass a few grandchildren who you have learned are worth of your consider. This first element is those individuals that you understand you can accept as true with because they percentage your grief and are continually searching out on your high-quality interest.

Many of the choices that you’ll want to make over the approaching months may additionally contain looking out for your first-class interest and your economic, emotional and physical nicely-being. While the last decision is constantly yours, you need the advice, input, insights and assist of your depended on cherished ones to help form the best selections to your gift and future needs.

After you decide on a few depended on own family individuals, you should then add a number of the subsequent outside members for your crew. I advise that when you have a financial and property consultant, convey them in first to check your state of affairs and make guidelines on what can be accomplished first without the want for an lawyer. Most exact monetary and property advisors may be in a position that will help you take care of all of the filings and bureaucracy had to make demise claims, advantage changes and updates with the need for attorney charges at this point. If you have already got an present dating with this monetary advisor, there may be little to no fees worried with these services.

If you had been to usher in an lawyer first, lots of those simple filings might be charged in your account at quotes that would amount to 5 percentage of the value of the assets, transfers or distributions. These prices may be saved by using the usage of a financial advisor to manual you thru them.

You may even want to involve your income tax preparer in some unspecified time in the future to make sure that you get the entirety nicely organized with the IRS before the give up of the year that the dying took place. If you do not, there may be penalties as a way to be incurred.

Having a attorney concerned is something that you can want to do. But I could read the relaxation of those gadgets after which make certain you’ve got the tick list of objects that you need the legal professional to handle. If carried out efficiently, lots of the estate will already be administered and dispensed earlier than you go to with the legal professional.

How Desperate Are You To Stay In Business? 7 Financial Steps For Success

8 out of 10 businesses fail.90% of businesses fail.1 in 3 businesses never make it past year 3.The numbers may differ depending on what you read or listen to, but over and over we are bombarded with the same message of doom and gloom.If the experts are to be believed, it begs the question why anyone would even consider working for themselves. However in my opinion the better question would be:What are the ones who survive or become successful doing that the others are not?What they all have in common is an understanding of how controlling the money is vital to their success. Whether they do it themselves or hire someone to manage it, it has to be done.I get that the financial aspect is the least sexy of the business areas you have to deal with. Sales & marketing yields customers. You get to be creative, social and innovative.The operations side allows you to show the people who have bought from you, just how good you are at delivering on your sales promises. This is the doing part.And then last but most definitely not least, you have the financial controls. This is the exact antithesis of the sales and marketing. This is about attention to detail, analysis, and number crunching. These are commonly the very skills that so many entrepreneurs shy away from.

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But here is the kicker. The best way to know how well your sales and marketing and your operations skills are performing, is to analyse the money.The money doesn’t lie. In fact it shines a light so fierce, this alone can be a reason entrepreneurs shy away from the money management. They would rather not face the reality of a situation. They concentrate on sales and servicing and hope the money will sort itself out.This last belief does hold water, but it is essential to know on an ongoing basis whether you are on track or you are about to be horribly derailed.This fitness checklist is a quick reference for checking your financial health as you go.Financial planning (why, what, how)Why you are doing it? To buy nice things, help the needy, make your family proud. Only a few people actually work purely for the sake of it. What do you need to make it happen and how will you go about it?Inflows versus outflow To be financially fit, you need to bring more money in and spend less and you will be left with surplus to pay yourself more and have enough left over to invest in growing your business.Team Successful entrepreneurs always have a financial team of some sort. It could be just you and your accountant. At the other end of the scale you could have a bookkeeper; accountant, financial advisor, business coach, solicitor, and of course, you.Number crunch every month This is imperative. If this is not done, the decisions you make will be little more than guesswork. Despite this over well over 60% of business owners rely on gut instinct or their bank balance to determine how well they are doing. And guess how many go bust in the first 3 years? Well over 60%. Coincidence?Evaluate progress Once you start to understand & use your reports each month you will become addicted to the information they give you because they will set the basis for your future decisions. Not to mention alert you to any problems. Work on amber alerts not red ones.Shape up and strengthen

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This is the part of the process that will either make or break your business. It is no good having the information at your fingertips and not making the right decisions.When you sit with your accountant, financial adviser, marketing person, business coach, or similar professional; you would be able to concentrate on strategy and problem solving. Rather than waste time gathering information to create reports that you never do anything with.Saving versus spending As employees we were conditioned to pay all our bills first and only then save with what is left. The trouble is, after money has been directed at covering expenses there is often not enough for anything else. Including taxes or paying yourself. There are many techniques to combat this cycle, but a simplest one is:Aim to spend only 70% or less of money collected each month. If this means you battle to keep on top of expenditure, then what better incentive do you need to get your revenue and profit levels up?Remember 1 in 3 businesses do not make it to their third anniversary due to a lack of cash.So don’t be a statistic.

Know When Your Business Needs IT Consulting Services

Businesses must ensure that only the latest technologies and software are deployed at the workplace, in order to provide quality solutions to their clients, and to be ahead of the competition. With the ever-changing technological trends in the industry, businesses find it cumbersome to adopt these technologies. Instead they can hand the entire function over to a sound IT consulting services company – who in turn will tap into their global pool of highly skilled IT professionals, who have the advantage of working in various IT environments, and have extensive experience across sectors. By providing assistance to business, IT consulting services providers free up existing resources; ensure IT transitions are smooth and problem-free; optimise key business processes; identify areas that benefit with further cost saving; build competitive advantage through IT; reduce IT complexities; provide IT strategy consultancy services, IT project management services and provide specialised programme management solutions – all of which, help the organisation achieve significant business efficiencies and cost benefits.

Choosing to work with an IT firm definitely boosts a company’s overall efficiency, which in turn decreases costs. Firms tend to look for a flexible and bespoke solution to address the client’s IT needs, thereby delivering solutions that are in tandem with the client’s goals.

The advantages listed above necessitate hiring an IT company. But how will a business know that it needs IT consultancy services?

A business may function with its existing IT architecture without knowing the benefits of such services. In order to discern the need for IT consulting services, businesses must first understand the details of their services. According to Wikipedia, ‘IT consulting is a field that focuses on advising businesses on how best to use IT to meet their business objectives. In addition to providing advice, IT consultancies often estimate, manage, implement, deploy, and administer IT systems on businesses’ behalf, known as Outsourcing’. IT consulting services firms thereby help businesses strategise and evaluate their IT functions as a whole and take the necessary steps to implement and/or deploy and then administer effective and robust IT systems in place. Businesses can seek the services of an IT firm when:

  1. IT investments regularly overshoot the set budget. Fast-paced technologies and trends warrant proper planning. When making strategic use of the allocated budget seems difficult, seeking the advice of IT consultancy services providers is imperative.
  2. A business decides to relocate or reduce staff.
  3. Projects regularly miss deadlines. Lack of specialists, complex projects and shoestring budgets lead to inefficient project management. A sound IT consulting services company designs bespoke, safe and cost-effective solutions, either full time or part time.
  4. Challenges of globalization, technical and regulatory changes arise. Business and technology management when integrated help the business survive, and therefore IT strategy consultancy is important.
  5. Programmes and projects eat into the budget. A business needs specialised programme management solutions to achieve significant cost savings. A robust IT services company provides either the co-sourcing or the outsourcing model to help businesses remain ahead of the competition, by providing tailored solutions.
  6. There is a need to change networks or when the need to shift to a new IT architecture arises.
  7. The company is in need of a robust disaster recovery plan.
  8. There are no data storage systems in place.

Availing the services of the right IT consulting services company may be a challenge. A business must choose a provider before the problems stated above get worse – and must choose a provider who is able to set in place a sound IT system in place. Therefore, a business must choose a provider who provides flexible solutions. Businesses must also remember that though they think they are able to fix small issues, the reality is that these issues must be treated at the root, and they can be properly tackled only with strategic IT solutions – only provided by an effective IT consulting services company.

The Golden Greeks – The Romance of Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis

MARIA CALLAS AND ARISTOTLE ONASSIS

The career of Maria Callas had already begun its downward slide when she was introduced to Aristotle Onassis. It was 1957 and she was 35 years old. She had been married to the elderly, short, squat Giovanni Battista Meneghini for ten years.

Maria found some comfort for her diminishing artistic success in high society. Elsa Maxwell brave an elegant party for Maria in Venice. Before she knew it, Aristotle Onassis had managed to inveigle the seat next to hers at the dinner table. For the next seven days, where she was he appeared next to her as if by magic. She found it flattering and pleasant, but for the time being, nothing more.

Then the morning before a gala charity concert for a Legion d'Honneur in 1958, Maria received a huge bunch of red roses, with good wishes in Greek, signed Aristotle Onassis. Another huge bunch of red roses arrived at lunch, also with good wishes in Greek, signed Aristotle. And just as she was about to leave for the opera house came another bunch of roses, also with good wishes in Greek. This time there was no signature on it. Maria knew who had sent it …

On June 17, after a performance of MEDEA at Covent Garden, Maria and her husband attended a reception at the Dorchester where they met Aristotle Onassis again. This time Maria was ready ….

Next he organized a party for her which literally left her gasping. The Meneghinis were millionaires, but compared to Onassis, they felt like a poor relatives. He invited forty people to come as his guests to the opera and then one hundred and sixty to a party at the Dorchester. It was more lavish than any ever given for Maria before, even by Elsa Maxwell. The ballroom was adorned entirely in orchid pink and overflowing with matching roses. She had often heard the expression, "Your wish is my command," but this was the first time in her life she had seen it in action. Aristotle never left her side and no request of hers was too small for him to grant. When she casually mentioned she liked tangos, he rushed up to the bandleader with fifty pounds in his hand. After that nothing but tangos were played all evening. They did not leave the Dorchester until after 3 o'clock in the morning. In the foyer, the Meneghinis and Onassis were photographed in a hug, Aristotle on one side of Maria and Meneghini on the other. The shot turned out to be prophetic.

Ari kept inviting her all evening to come and cruise with him and Tina on the Christina. He was hard to resist and poor Meneghini did not offer much competition. For a little girl from a lower middle class neighborhood in Washington Heights, it was a fairy tale, a dream come true. In spite of Meneghini's impassioned protests, they were going cruising on the Christina.

Maria went shopping in Milan, where she sent millions of lire on bathing suits, vacation outfits, and lingerie. A sophisticated friend later told Maria that a woman always buys new lingerie when she is about to have an affair. She was right, but Maria did not know it yet; She told herself she just wanted to look nice on the trip.

On board the three million dollar sea palace as large as a football field were Winston Churchill and his wife and daughter, Gianni Agnelli and his wife, and many other well known Greek, American, and English personalities. Maria ran about the ship like a school girl, exclaiming at each new discovery, now the solid gold fixtures shaped like dolphins in each bathroom, now her elegant, beautifully decorated bathroom and marble bathroom with adjoining boudoir and limitless closet space for all her beautiful new Clothes (a suite, incidentally, which she never used later without Ari and she had a fight), now the real El Greco in Ari's study, the fabulous jeweled Buddha, the swimming pool decorated with a mosaic reproduction of a fresco from the palace of Knossos, the huge oak paneled lounge with a majestic grand piano at one end and a lapis lazuli fireplace at the other, and Ari's private bathroom that looked like a temple, and the bath, inlaid with flying fish and dolphins, which was an exact copy Of the one in King Minos's lost Palace of Knossos in Crete. Ari, who had fussed like a housewife over every detail, was in raptures over each of Maria's enthusiastic outbursts. The ship boasted a crew of sixty, including two chefs, one French, one Greek. The guests were given a choice of menus, but Maria, who had lost a great deal of weight, was still eating mostly raw meat and salads. But since she had a habit of sneaking bits of food from everyone else's plates, she got at least a sampling of the fine cuisine.

The trip was literally an eye opener for her, a staid Italian matron who believed in fidelity and monogamy. She was shocked to see many of the guests sunbathing without any clothes on, and some of them openly playing around with other people's mates on deck. Aristotle was one of those walking around naked. He was very hairy, like a gorilla, Battista said. Maria's reaction to his nudity was the second sign that she was becoming another person. She had always been a bit of a prude. She would not sing the Dance of the Seven Veils in Richard Strauss's SALOME because she had to take off her clothes. But when she saw Ari walking around like that, she giggled like a school girl. She had never seen a nude man surrounded Battista.

For Maria, it was a magnificent three week voyage. Their plans were to stop first at Portofino, a toy port on the coast of Italy, and then go on to Capri for sight-seeing. Then they would sail from the Mediterranean through the Aegean Sea to the Gulf of Corinth. From there they planned a sight seeing a trip of Delphi, sailing on to Izmir, the Turkish name for Ari's boyhood home, and then on up to the Dardanelles to Istanbul and home again.

Maria's enthusiasm was not shared by Meneghini. He got crabbier and crabbier the further along they got on their voyage. He was interested in either the ship nor the other guests, and spent his time whining about the way they were sliding him. Maria found his griping and endless criticism of Aristo increasingly irritating. She kept comparing his sluggish demeanor with Ari's vigor and passion for life, and Battista fell far short. He was only nine years older than Ari, but Maria felt but he acted like his grandfather.

Maria was drunk with the fresh sea air, the cloudless blue skies, and the company of Onassis. By the time they reached Piraeus, the weather became so stormy Meneghini and most of the other guests took to their staterooms, leaving Aristo and Maria practically alone. They sat in the deserted games room basking before the fire in the lapis lazuli fireplace. The sparkle of the flames lit up the deep blue of the lapis, and was reflected in his eyes, which were black and round as Greek olives. The room was dimly lit, and once in a while it was brilliantly illuminated by a flash of lightening. Once during such a flash Maria saw her own eyes mirrored in his. She took it as an omen. His eyes, her eyes, it was all the same to Maria.

The motion of the ship on the stormy seas rocked them back and forth, so she was almost in a trance as they sat there talking all night long. They talked mostly in Greek, Egypt, rather, Ari did. He told her all about his boyhood, where he came into the world seventeen years before Maria in Smyrna near the coast of Turkey. Later he had the captain stop the ship there so he could show her the house where he was born. He spoke about the Greek quarters where he was brought up, and of his father and uncle, who were flourishing merchants of cotton, tobacco, and anything else that would grow in the Anatalyan area. Then without making a play for sympathy, he described his mother's death during a kidney operation when he was only six. He told her of his father's subsequence remarriage to his aunt, and of his beloved grandmother. He also said he had been a choirboy and boasted with a beguiling smile that he, too, had a good voice. She found him enchanting, and knew other women did, too. He had been a ladies' man from the time he pinched his English teacher's bottom and was suspended from school. He was incorrigible from the beginning, and made love for the first time when he was only thirteen. When Maria thought she was twice that age when she had her first sexual experience, she was embarrassed!

He also told her of the horrors in his life that surpassed Maria's experiences during the Second World War. He had lived through the Turkish attack on Smyrna and had seen thousands of Greeks tortured and killed. At age sixteen he rescued his father from the cruel Turks, who massacred one million Greeks in Turkish Asia Minor between 1918 and 1923. Then he told Maria of crossing the sea in a filthy boat crammed with a thousand immigrants in steerage until his arrival at Buenos Aires on September 21, 1923. It amazed Maria that six weeks before she was born, Ari was already an experienced man on his way to success. He soon started his career with the telephone company and, by the time he was twenty-four, had become Greek vice-consul general in Argentina. Shortly after he found the two Canadian ships with which he began his stunning career.

On August 4 they dropped anchor at the foot of Mount Athos, where an incident happened that was to change Maria's life forever. They were received by the Patriarch Athenagoras, and knelt side by side to receive his blessing. Speaking in Greek, he called them "the world's greatest singer and the greatest seaman of the modern world, the new Ulysses." When he thanked them for the honors they had brought to the Greek world, Maria's eyes filled with tears. It was as if he were performing a solemn marriage ceremony. Somehow she felt he bought her God's permission to be together with Ari, and her last resistance crumbled. After that they were man and wife in their minds, and a few hours later, in their bodies.

That night there was a party at the Istanbul Hilton for the guests of the Christina. Meneghini said he felt too tired and weak to attend and remained on board the ship. When Maria returned at five in the morning, he was waiting up for her and demanded to know why she was so late. Maria knew she could not keep up the farce any longer. "I am in love with Ari," she said.

A week after the Christina had docked in Istanbul, the Meneghinis left the ship on one of Onassis' private planes and flew to Milan, and then promptly left for Sirmione. Maria wore a bracelet with the initials TMWL (To Maria With Love) engraved on it.

Parting from Ari left a hole in Maria's heart, which she filled by fantasizing the whole night long he would come get her. To her great surprise, to say nothing of Battista's, at nine o'clock the next morning they heard a voice outside her window singing, "Maria, Maria!" It was Aristo. He told Battista, "I've come to marry your wife."

At four o'clock in the morning, she left with Aristo for Milan. He then flew to Venice to discuss divorce with Tina.

For the first time in her life, Maria was madly in love with a man in love with her. It was too much to take in all at once. She was flooded with so much feeling she felt she could not bear it. Then she would remind herself that despite the blessing of the patriarch Athenagoras, she was having an affair with a married man, and this would calm her down a bit. Then she appeared her conscience with the knowledge that she and Ari would try to get divorces and marry as soon as possible.

People said Callas' whole personality changed, that her sharp edges had melted and she had become a softer, gentler person. Even poor Battista said she was a different woman. For the first time in her life she was happy. She had the feeling of being kept in a cage so long that when she met Aristo, bursting with vigor and zest for life, she became another woman. Even Antonio Ghiringhelli, the taciturn and enigmatic manager of La Scala, succumbed to her new temperament. The iceman actually smiled with his whole face when he asked Maria to return to La Scala on her own terms and to sing anything she wanted. She arrived in Milan on September 2 in wonderful spirits to begin rehearsals for the new recording.

Her happiness was somewhat flawed by the press and photographers, who persecuted her merclysly. The throngs were so numerous and unruly she needed physical protection to keep from being mauled. On one occasion they caught Ari and Maria dining tete-a-tete at the Rendez-vous in Milan, and at three o'clock that morning they were photographed going into the Hotel Principe e Savoia arm in arm. In order to increase Maria's chances of getting a divorce by mutual consent, her lawyers insisted she issued a statement to the press saying: "I confirm that the break between my husband and myself is complete and final. Time, and cruise on the Christina was only coincidental …. I am now my own manager. I ask for understanding in this painful personal situation, "she said sweetly. "Between Signor Onassis and myself there exists a profound friendship that dates back some time." I am also in a business connection with him. When I have another things to say, I will do so at the opportunity moment. "

Maria despised living a lie, which she knew no one believed anyhow. Aristo was also attacked by reporters, but he was more honest than Maria. "Of course," he said, "how could I help but be flattered if a woman with the class of Maria Callas fell in love with someone like me? Who would not?"

On September 10, as soon as the GIOCONDA recording was finished, Maria rushed to the Milan airport to board the private plane Ari had sent for her. From there she flew to Venice, where she excitedly boarded the Christina. Aristo was exuberant and triumphantly marked her arrival by setting off the loud, blasting siren announcing the departure of the Christina. Only two other guests were along this time, Ari's sister, Artemis and her husband Theodore Garoufalidis.

Tina was not on board. She had taken her children a few days before and fled to Paris to the home of her father, the respected Greek shipowner, Stavros Livanos. Aristo, who was upset about the children, followed her in his private plane to make a half-hearted gesture of reconciliation. But Tina was not about to forgive him for the public humiliation to which he had subjected her. This left Ari free to do what he really wanted, to sail on the Christina with Maria Callas.

What a dream voyage it was, with both of them relaxed and at peace with themselves! Their love was just what the Good Doctor ordered. They soaked up the sun all day long, swam for hours in the sun drenched Mediterranean, and were free to make love all night.

Luxuriating in her new happiness left Maria unwilling to give up one moment of it. She was so immersed in the timelessness of the present she paid no attention to her career. She was sick and tired of being a sexless nun, and was relieved to leave it behind her. Neverheless, she was shocked when a newspaper compared the number of appearances she had made pre and post-Ari. In 1958, she cave twenty-eight performances of seven operas in six cities all over the world. In 1960 she defended only seven performances of two operas in two cities, and in 1961 her schedule showed just five performances, all of MEDEA at Epidaurus and La Scala. The decline continued even more quickly in 1962, when she sang MEDEA twice at La Scala. And in 1963 she brave no performances at all. In 1964, sadly enough, Maria Callas made the last stage appearance of her life.

But like most heavenly sojourns on earth, Maria's utopia was short lived. Or depending it would be nearer correct to say it became sporadic, as a new phase of their relationship began. Like many men, once Ari had Maria for his own, he became much more difficult. Now he played the one hard to get. Gone were the days of the Dorchester when every wish of hers was his command. Now his pleasure became primary to both of them. To Maria's despair, he spent time with his wife, trying to woo her back. He began to date other women. He behaved like a typical Greek man and Maria a typical Greek woman, who philosophy is that a man can not really change himself, but a woman must be able transform herself to suit her man.

Now he became withdrawn and difficult, now staying away for as much as a week, not even phoning when he did not feel like it. Nor would he answer her calls. She would be in a panic for days at a time. He had all the power in the relationship: She could only sit and wait for his call.

Then suddenly, for no reason she could understand, he would begin to phone again every day and send her flowers. Or he would show up unexpectedly or send for her. She was so happy to see him she overlooked being hurt and angry. Each return was like another honeymoon.

They talked a lot about getting married. When Ari said once more he would marry her, Maria made an announcement to the press. Ari told reporters it was just a childish prank and purely Maria's fantasy! She was a good little girl again and said nothing. How she had changed from the Xanthippe who was married to Meneghini!

Ari behaved like a pasha, and when he did not want Maria along on the voyages of the Christina, he had no compunctions about kicking her off. No excuse was necessary.

Meanwhile, Tina was going about getting her divorce, in spite of Aristotle's pleas for a reconciliation. Maria was overjoyed when he agreed to look at a chateau with her in Eure-et-Loire. The divorce came through a month later. The chateau never did.

Maria had agreed to give two performances of NORMA in August in Greece. It had almost a religious significance for Ari that his mistress score a triumph at historic Epidaurus. He put everything else aside for her those weeks, and they were deliriously happy again as they spent almost all their time together. When he loved her everything seemed possible. And, indeed, the performance on August 24 turned out to be one of the peak experiences of her life. Maria loved Ari as he was and accepted all his weaknesses along with the qualities she admitted in him. He, on the other hand, was constantly trying to change her. He did not like the way she dressed, and actually phoned Biki, one of Milan's most important fashion designers, during Maria's fittings to make sure her new clothes would be to his taste. He said she looked plain in her glasses. Since Maria was unable to tolerate contacts, she walked about the ship half blind, holding her glasses in her hand. He did not like her long hair either, which had always been her glory. So he sent her to Alexandre in Paris, who cut her hair while she kept her hands over her eyes. To her surprise, she loved the short, bouncy hairstyle he created, and thought it made her look younger and more sophisticated.

That the years passed, with Maria ever hopeful and Onassis ever more brutal. In 1963, Lee Radziwell, Jackie Kennedy's sister, who was on board the Christina, left to fly to her sister's bedside, where she had just given birth to Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who died two days later. When Lee returned to Athens, she told Ari and Maria how desolate and disturbed her sister was. Ari immediately offered Mrs. Kennedy the use of the Christina for her convalescence. She eagerly accepted, although neither the president nor Maria shared her enthusiasm. President Kennedy objected to his wife's cruise because Onassis had been indicated during the Eisenhower administration for conspiring to defraud the American government of taxes on surplus American ships. He had to pay the government seven million dollars to get off the hook. And Maria – she had vague anxieties she did not understand. She only knew she felt desolate and lonely at the thought of Mrs. Kennedy's presence on board, and strangely enough, found herself trembling with fear.

Her voice continued to go down hill. Just when she needed him the most, Aristo became impossible, and in 1967 they had their worst summer together yet. Ingse Dedichen, his lover during World War Two, told a friend Ari had beaten her up until she looked "like a boxer who has lost a fight." He told her afterward every Greek without exception beats up his wife. "It is good for them," he said. "It keeps them in line."

He never beat Maria physically – he probably knew that the one thing he could not get away with – but his treatment of her was almost as brutal. No curse was too vile to hurl at her, no words of abuse too insulting. She was told to shut up because she was only a stupid dame who nose was too big, with glasses that made her look ugly and legs that were too fat. He was not above saying she was just a cunt with a whistle in her throat who was good only for fucking. And always in front of people, to make her humiliation that much more painful.

Aristo was having his difficulties, both with his old friend Vergottis, who later sued him and lost, and with Prince Ranier, who was trying to unseat Ari as the person with the controlling interest in the State of Monaco. Ari loved his power over the principality, and gloried every time he took a step into Monaco. For him, it was the crowning jewel of his life. In a brilliant move, the prince created 600,000 shares in the company, and offered to buy out any shares of the existing shareholders at the market rate, thus giving him and his stockholders complete power over the destination of his country. Ari appeared to the courts and lost. A defeated man, he left Monaco, not to return until shortly before he died.

Of all the possible times of her life it could have happened, Maria picked the moment when their relationship was at its lowest point to become pregnant. She could not wait to tell Ari about it. She wanted to have a baby more than she ever wanted anything in my life besides him, and the thought of bearing the child of the man she loved filled her with tenderness. But Ari had other ideas.

"Why should I want another child?" He said. "I already have two."

"But Aristo," Maria pleaded, "I have always wanted a child." It is a miracle I'm pregnant at all at the age of forty-three. If I do not have this baby, I will never have another. "

"Have it then," he said, "and it will be the end of our relationship."

Maria had the abortion. But it marked the end of their love affair, even though they stayed together for a few years longer.

Maria did not know what to do. She could not live with him and she could not live without him. She was forty-three years old and had never had a place of her own. So she compromised and got her own apartment in Paris.

The turning point came when Ari's servants, George and Helen, told a friend they had been ordered to spend an endless evening in their rooms while Ari entertained and cooked for a "special guest" himself. Maria knew Aristo had been having affairs all along. But she knew intuitively that this incident was different. She remained agitated and anxious and began to find it impossible to sleep without taking pills.

She soon found out who the "special guest" was. The newspapers reported seeing Ari and Jackie Kennedy dining together at El Morocco, 21, Dionysis, and at Mykonos with Christina, Nureyev, and Margot Fonteyn. Gossips were already listing him amongst Jackie's possible suitors.

The crisis occurred when Maria returned to the Christina and Ari taught her to go back to Paris and wait for him there.

"Go to Paris?" She said. "Nobody stays in Paris in August. You must be mad."

"You have to go," he insured.

"I have to? What are you talking about?"

"I'm having a special guest aboard and you can not be here."

"Who could be so special that I can not be aboard?"

He did not answer, but it did not matter. Maria already knew the answer.

"Then I'm leaving you," she said.

"Do not be silly. I'll see you after the cruise is over in September," he said.

"No, Ari. You do not understand. I said I'm leaving you. You will never see me again." And she left, never to return.

Then on October 20, 1968, Maria got the news she had prayed she would never hear. Ari's butler called to tell her Aristotle and Kennedy were going to be married.

Maria did what she could to pass the time. She attended the opera next to Ghiringhelli, made a movie, taught a master class at Jiulliard. In the meantime, Ari was becoming disillusioned with Jackie's lavish buying sprees of jewelry and clothing and he was beginning to realize she was taking him for a fool. He kept calling and sending Maria flowers, but for a long time her pride was too hurt and she refused to talk with him. Finally in 1969 they met at a party and little by little, began to see each other again.

The climax came after they had spent four nights together when he took her to dine at Maxim's for the whole world to see. Maria was ecstatic, and believed Jackie was just another paramour to be forgotten. But the lady had other ideas. When she saw the newspaper photos of her husband and Maria dining together with blissful smiles, she was furious and flew immediately to his side. She advised he repeat the drama of the day before at Maxim's with her in Maria's place. The next day Maria was admitted to the American Hospital at Neuilly with the diagnosis of "overdose of barbiturates."

For the first time since Ari's marriage, Maria returned to Greece, this time as the guest of Perry Embiricos on his private island of Tragonisi in the Aegean. Perry was a friend of Onassis, who had introduced Maria to him. To her surprise who should show up on the island but Aristo! He blessed Maria with a kiss, and from then on they resumed their relationship.

Thus, surviving his marriage, Maria was able to hang on by the tips of her fingernails until March, 1975, when Onassis became critically ill with incurable myasthenia gravis.

Maria had been getting daily reports about his progress from the American Hospital in Paris, where he had gone for surgery. He never recovered consciousness, and was kept alive for five weeks by a respirator and intravenous feedings. Maria knew he was dying and she was not allowed to be by his side. The doctors said it could go on for weeks or even months. Her suffering was unendurable.

On March 12, she received her last report from the American Hospital. Aristo was dead.

Maria was slowly dying from the loss of her career. He had flashed into her life like a bolt of lightning across a dark summer sky; Where there'd been nothing suddenly there was Aristo. Her friends and staff were considerate, thoughtful, and loving. But it meant nothing, nothing. He was her core, her life. How could she live without him?

On September 16, 1977, at the age of 53, Maria Callas was found dead in her bed. The official story was that she died of a heart attack. But no autopsy was permitted, and her cremation took place almost immediately. Heart attack? Perhaps. But there are those of us who believe Maria when she said, "I've played heroines who die for love – and that's something I can understand."

New Manufactured Home Foundation Essentials – 2 Must Have Upgrades

When purchasing and installing a new Manufactured Home, there are two upgrades that are recommended. They are installing a Vapor Barrier and Earthquake Bracing. Each is explained here:

Mobile Home Vapor Barrier

A Vapor Barrier for a Mobile or Manufactured home is a sheet of thick, rubbery plastic that goes directly over the dirt under a Mobile or Manufactured home. The foundation piers then rest on top of this barrier.

You really need to make sure a home you buy or have installed has this protection. Mobile and Manufactured homes need dry ventilation underneath. This barrier will prevent any moisture from damaging the home – especially rotting of the floors, but also helping with fungus, mold, and termites.

Making sure that a vapor barrier is installed before you buy a Mobile or Manufactured home is absolutely necessary. And the additional cost is very minimal considering the amount of protection you gain.

If you are buying a mobile or manufactured home that is already on a space, but with no vapor barrier, then you can hire a contractor to install a vapor barrier under the home. They will just have to cut pieces that will go around the pier-and-post foundation and all piping in place. This is not ideal, but way better than no barrier at all.

Mobile Home Earthquake Bracing

Earthquake bracing is recommended in California, and elsewhere earthquakes are common. Mobile Homes and Manufactured Homes are especially susceptible to damage in a earthquake due to their foundation system (most of the time they are installed on a pier-and-post system).

Earthquake bracing is a simple upgrade that can increase the value of your home by at least the cost of installation of the bracing. This cost is running from $2000 to $4500 in California right now. The actual brace is like a shock absorber in a car, but installed at an angle from the steel I-beam on the bottom of the home, and anchored to the ground. This brace will keep the home from shifting off the pier-and-post foundation.

Insurance companies may insist on having earthquake bracing installed if you want to purchase earthquake insurance on your Mobile Home or Manufactured Home.

Earthquake bracing can also help a Mobile Home not come off the foundation in high winds, although it is not designed to do this and should not be relied on for this.

Pictures and further explanation on both of these upgrades, as well as a whole bunch of free information, tips, advice, and recommendations can be found at: http://www.free-mobile-home-info.com